Attenuation correction for single photon emission computed tomography myocardial perfusion imaging
The University of Michigan Hospitals, B1 G412/ 0028, 1500 East Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.Current Cardiology Reports (Impact Factor: 1.93). 02/2004; 6(1):32-40. DOI: 10.1007/s11886-004-0063-2
The specificity of cardiac single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) perfusion imaging is significantly affected by internal photon absorption. Commonly referred to as anterior wall breast and inferior wall diaphragm attenuation artifacts, even when following characteristic patterns in women and men, the reduced activity produced can be difficult to differentiate from real perfusion defects. Unfortunately, wide variations in body habitus result in unpredictable variations in tissue attenuation and the specificity of uncorrected SPECT is unacceptably low in many laboratories. This manuscript reviews recent developments in attenuation correction methods for cardiac SPECT. Several commercial methods are now available, and although the initial success using these methods varied widely, as these methods have been improved successful clinical reports are appearing with increasing frequency. Recent developments have yielded more robust validated methods and significant clinical advantages have been achieved in the diagnostic evaluation of coronary heart disease (sensitivity as well as specificity) and myocardial viability. As these methods continue to mature, further advances should be anticipated.
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ABSTRACT: Medical imaging has always been essential for the diagnosis and management of many problems encountered in cardiothoracic surgical practice, from the assessment of cardiac function (e.g., by providing the location and extent of an infarct), to defining the extent of a malignancy via noninvasive imaging modalities to guide the choice of more invasive steps (e.g., biopsies or resections). Although most imaging still relies on standard radiological modalities such as computed tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET) has become more widely used in the US since its most recent clinical breakthrough. With the increasing availability of combined PET/CT units that deliver both anatomical and metabolic information in a single examination, PET imaging can potentially be used to a greater extent than what has been previously attainable. This review will provide an overview of recent advances in imaging that are likely to influence the direction of cardiothoracic surgery in the near future.
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ABSTRACT: A new software approach uses separately acquired CT images for attenuation correction after retrospective fusion with the SPECT data. This study evaluates the effect of this CT-based attenuation correction on indium-111-pentetreotide-SPECT images. Indium-111-pentetreotide-SPECT imaging using a dual-head gamma camera e.cam (Siemens Medical Solutions, Erlangen, Germany) as well as separate spiral computed tomography (CT) was performed in 13 patients. After fusion of SPECT and CT data, the bilinear attenuation coefficients were calculated for each pixel in the CT image volume using their Hounsfield unit values and attenuation-corrected images were reconstructed iteratively (OSEM 2D). Regions of interest (ROIs) were drawn on 24 suspicious foci and background, and target to background ratios were calculated for corrected (TBAC) and uncorrected (TBNAC) images. The shortest distance from the centre of the lesion to the surface of the body (DS) was measured on the corresponding CT slice. Furthermore, ROIs were drawn over the rim and the centre of the liver. Ratios of hepatic count rates for corrected (LRAC) and uncorrected (LRNAC) images were also compared. In lesions located more centrally, TBAC was up to 52% higher, whereas in peripherally located lesions, TBAC was up to 63% lower than TBNAC. The TBAC/TBNAC quotient was linearly correlated with DS. In the liver, attenuation correction resulted in a 35% increase of LRAC compared with LRNAC. Attenuation correction of SPECT images performed by separately acquired CT data is quick and simple. It improves the contrast between target and background for lesions located more centrally in the body and improves homogeneity of the visualisation of tracer uptake in the liver.
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ABSTRACT: In cardiac SPECT, specificity is significantly affected by artifacts due to photon absorption. As the success of attenuation correction depends mainly on high-quality attenuation maps, SPECT low-dose CT devices are promising. We wanted to evaluate the usefulness of a SPECT low-dose CT device in myocardial perfusion scintigraphy. For the evaluation of attenuation correction systems, primarily comparisons with coronary angiography are used. Because the comparison of a method showing myocardial perfusion with an investigation displaying the morphology of vessels yields some difficulties, we chose perfusion PET with (13)N-ammonia as the reference method. We prospectively analyzed 23 patients (6 women, 17 men) with known or suspected coronary artery disease. Rest studies and studies under pharmacologic stress with adenosine were performed. After simultaneous injection of (13)N-ammonia and (99m)Tc-sestamibi, a dynamic PET acquisition was started. The SPECT study was performed about 2 h later. Based on 20-segment polar maps, SPECT with and without attenuation correction was compared with PET-derived perfusion values and ammonia uptake values. The PET uptake images were also smoothed to adjust their resolution to the resolution of the SPECT images. The concordance of SPECT and PET studies was improved after attenuation correction. The main effect was seen in the inferior wall. Especially in the apex and anterolateral wall, there were differences between SPECT and PET studies not attributable to attenuation artifacts. Because these differences diminished after smoothing of the PET studies, they might be due to partial-volume effects caused by the inferior resolution of the SPECT images. The x-ray-derived attenuation correction leads to SPECT images that represent myocardial perfusion more accurately than nonattenuation-corrected SPECT images. The benefit of the method is seen primarily in the inferior wall. The low resolution of the SPECT system may lead to artifacts due to partial-volume effects. This phenomenon must be considered when perfusion PET is used as a reference method to investigate the effect of attenuation correction.
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